Net Metering Regulation In Ontario: Information To Start Your Community Net Metering Project
- Nov 17, 2021 3:31 pm GMT
A brief history of net metering in
Net metering allows households and businesses to generate renewable energy onsite for their own use and receive a bill credit for any surplus electricity that they return to the grid.
The regulation is limited to a single demonstration project for now, but if the demonstration is successful, we expect the provincial government may expand the community net metering regulation to other projects, on a case-by-case basis. This presents a great opportunity for local distribution companies, developers and municipalities to integrate renewable electricity generation into their ongoing and future initiatives.
The first demonstration project: West 5
The first demonstration project is
Concerns about community net metering
In 2020, the
Local cost impacts are mitigated in three ways: by making distributor participation voluntary, making the community net metering generator responsible for distribution costs, and ensuring any other costs are not recovered from customers. System-wide impacts are eliminated by limiting demonstration projects to 10 MW for an initial 10-year term. Consumers are protected because community net metering generators are required to inform customers of the billing limits and provide a bill comparison upon request.
How the new community net metering regulation works
The new community net metering regulation may provide the opportunity for businesses in the energy sector, planning industries, utilities and government to test the model while remaining in line with
Under the regulation, excess electricity credits can be shared across multiple participating residents and businesses in the community. This change allows generation to be located where it is best suited, such as a building with more roof space or a parking lot, while still allowing other buildings or areas with less optimal spaces to share in the credits to lower their electricity bills without being connected to the original generator.
While credits can be shared, administrative work must be allocated to one entity. One customer will be billed for all participating locations and will be responsible for the operation of the generation facilities within their community. This single customer must cooperate with their local distribution company to allocate the excess credits across their community.
Requirements for community net metering demonstration projects
Organizations with space suitable for renewable electricity generation should consider participating as a demonstration project with community partners. Requirements for community net metering projects are set out by the regulation. Here's what you need to know before moving forward:<ul
- The combined total generation and storage capacity for each demonstration project is limited to 10 MW.
- All projects must be approved and listed in Schedule 1 of the regulation.
- The project must be a pilot or demonstration project limited to a maximum term of 10 years as set out in a community net metering agreement.
- One electricity generator must hold the account with the participating distributor for every facility using electricity (whether it is connected to the generator or not), every generation facility and every storage facility included in the project.
- The project must include two or more facilities that use electricity from the distributor, with at least one being connected to the generation facility. The regulation does not prevent connected electricity users from being connected to two or more generation facilities for larger projects.
- There are other specific eligibility criteria for generators of electricity and project components that must be met to become a demonstration project.
- Bill credits may be carried forward for a maximum of 12 months.
Net metering programs make investment in the renewable energy generation space more attractive, creating a more sustainable and cost-efficient distribution system that will benefit the province as a whole. Community net metering, in particular, has the potential to greatly increase and incentivize the use of renewable energy and electricity storage. For individual developers, energy producers, utilities and municipalities, the financial benefits are enhanced by brand benefits, as participants are recognized for their leadership in sustainability and energy efficiency.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.
Bay Adelaide Centre,
No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.
Get Published - Build a Following
The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.
If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.